The old Chinese proverb says, “Give a Man a Fish and Feed Him for a Day. Teach a Man to Fish and Feed Him for a Lifetime.”

That is great as long as we know the man likes fish! Every once and while you have to give the man the fish, just to remind him that he likes fish and should learn to fish. This is a great marketing technique, and all marketing is, is bringing the fish too you.

Chum Them Up and Give Away a few Freebies

I had an opportunity to do some reef fishing in Key West, Florida in my past. Once we anchored over the reef, the captain placed a frozen block of chum overboard. Soon, bait fish started to show up. He threw his cast net, and soon 100 pilchards were in the bait tank. Soon, you could see the silver flashes of kingfish in the chum slick.

The captain then took a handful of pilchards, gave them a slight squeeze and threw them back in the slick. The next pilchard that went over the side had a hook in it, and soon the reel was screaming as a large kingfish was hooked up. This went on for a while. We then dropped hooked pilchards to the bottom and started to hook up grouper and snapper. All we had to do was give away a few free fish, and we able to catch all the fish we wanted.

So what does this fishing trip have to about business?

Everything! If you can give something away to your clients and let them know that they like you, how could this benefit you in the future? The scenario described above started by giving away little morsels. Small fish showed up, and then bigger fish showed up to feed on the smaller ones. This scenario plays out every day in nature, and, as a business owner, you to figure out how to draw the big fish into you.

One of the keys to this approach is to feed them to get them interested, but not so much that you fill them up. You need to keep them hungry so that when you are ready to sell, they are eager, and they are ready to buy your goods or services.

Restaurants and stores give away free samples for a reason (ever been to Costco? Heck my dad goes there for lunch). Check out my friend Brad Sugar’s book, Instant Sales, and see how he taught a bakery how to chum in customers with chocolate éclairs – brilliant.

My challenge to you is to figure out what you can use to chum in your clients?

Remember, you need to remind them that they like what you offer, and give them a taste, and then give them a bite with a hook in it.